SEAMS News Archives

Remembering Tony Harcombe

So the light has faded from yet another SEAMS member…

I am sure our longer serving members have good memories of Tony at rallies or at the Westcott Stationary Engine Museum? A talented self taught engineer, Tony worked for many years in Dorking for Farm Supplies. Through this work, he found old redundant engines that were waiting for the Scrap man and bought them for just a few pounds, so started the Museum, later with some assistance from Charlie Marsland and Philip Thornton-Evison to name but a few. Celia always joined in with their children Lizzie and David, supplying delicious homemade cakes and drinks to visitors. Here are a few of my own memories..

I first met Tony at a SEAMS event at Fishers Farm. I had my Lister M type engine there and it was boiling well. Tony came along and looked at it, ‘is it running on paraffin?’, ‘yes’ I replied ‘..and its runs very well on it too’. After looking round it, like Professor Yaffle from the Bagpuss st

ories, he asked me to stop it. Whipping the cover off the mag, he turned it over and said, ‘hmm I thought so, timing is wrong’ My schoolboy error was timing it from the wrong side! It was a valuable lesson

learned from a great engineer. One thing that sticks out in my mind, was Tony’s extensive vocabulary of engineering terms.. such as Nerdwangler or Nerdfurkler! We were on our way to Robert Jacksons open day, with Tony in the co-pilots seat, when we encountered some birds in the road, ‘Ahh Peasants!’ he exclaimed. That was Tony! Rest Easy old friend, we know the last few years were trying for you, not able to do your beloved engineering.

Mark Tewkesbury